Economic Development News
|Waterblasting Technologies holds grand opening in Stuart|
|Published Wednesday, December 2, 2009 7:00 am|
STUART — Waterblasting Technologies Inc. has a new international headquarters on Slater Street, and the building allows the company to assemble more of its signature water blasting systems than ever before.
James Crocker, CEO and founder of Waterblasting Technologies, was joined by at least 200 guests Wednesday evening to celebrate the grand opening of the new building, which Crocker said cost roughly $2.3 million, at 3170 Southeast Slater St. Standing before guests seated in an assembly bay decorated for the night with potted plants draped with holiday lights, Crocker expressed his joy and gratitude at a volume and tempo that matched the level common to a preacher at a revival. And he drew humorous shouts of “Hallelujah!” and confirmation from a member of the audience.
Crocker said his success was due in no small part to being a member of a qualified team of workers. “I’m excited, as if you can’t tell, for being a part of this winning team,” he said. Crocker’s feelings couldn’t be expressed in words alone. With little warning, he broke out into a rap comparing his company to a baseball team. “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want is to know that each of you are not happy with a bunt,” he rapped. “ “You wanna hit it far, man, you wanna hit it long. Doing less than your best would simply be so wrong.”
The new building, occupied since July, has the capacity to accommodate the assembly of seven of the company’s Stripe Hog Waterblasting System trucks simultaneously, more than twice the trucks the company could assemble in its previous location. Waterblasting Technologies, which sells and contracts out equipment that removes pavement markings from roads and runways, started as a one-man residential pressure cleaning service in Martin County in 1988. It now has more than 70 local employees with customers from 24 countries on four continents. Before the new international headquarters opened, Waterblasting Technologies assembled and manufactured parts for its Stripe Hogs, mobile water blasting systems developed by Crocker in 2005, in its facility on Dominica Terrace. The smaller building only had enough room to build three Stripe Hogs simultaneously. The new building also has an overhead crane for assembly and pits sunken into the floor so workers can access the Stripe Hog truck undercarriage with ease. The building also houses the company’s administrative offices.
The Dominica Terrace facility now houses the Stripe Hog manufacturing operations and Waterblasting.Com, Waterblasting Technologies’ sister company, which contracts out water blasting services. It also houses Sheet Metal Unlimited, another member of the Waterblasting family.
Martin County Commissioner Susan Valliere said she was grateful that the company was in her district and that it was a local success story.
“James, thank you for the leadership of this company,” she said before the audience. “And for your commitment"
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